Copper: Tin lining vs Stainless steel lining. Falk vs Mazzetti. Which is better?

Tektrex | Jul 29, 201805:32 PM     67

Ok so after much research both here and elsewhere I've pretty much learnt all there is to know about copper cookware and thus am fairly informed of the various quirks owning such a piece might entail. Despite this fact I remain unsure as to what lining would be best - tin or stainless steel - and would therefore appreciate any suggestions from current or former owners of such pieces. Otherwise I'm pretty much sold on owning one, both for looks and performance.

From my understanding tin offers few advantages over stainless steel and is typically reserved for those who require the absolute best temperature control in addition to those who prefer traditional copper cookware over the more modern alternatives. Tin, being a soft metal, also suffers from durability issues and due to its low melting point may not be suitable for certain cooking tasks such as searing and frying. For this reason, the only things I could see it being useful in would be a saucepan used solely for boiling and blanching food (I prefer to make sauces, oatmeal and scrambled eggs in a saucier) since tins superior thermal conductivity will allow for water to boil more quickly. Boiling water also avoids the need for any cooking utensils (as nothing needs to be stirred) and will always be lower in temperature than the melting point of tin, thus prolonging the saucepans life. Of course this limits the usability of such a saucepan but since I intend to get a dedicated saucier anyways I don't think that it would really matter that much. For a similar reason a stockpot may also benefit from a solid lining of tin as the combined responsiveness of both tin and copper work to ensure a relatively quick boil and gentle simmer which is perfect for making stock. More viscous foods like stew and chilli will require the occasional stir which can damage the tin if done too vigorously but since the conductive material extends all the way from the base to the lip of the pot, even heating is optimal, and so regular stirring is less important. Re-tinning would however be seriously expensive on such a large piece of cookware so tell me if this would really be worth it. Finally, and at a pinch, I can see tin lining being useful in something like a small frying pan used to cook food like eggs, omelettes and delicate cuts of fish as I understand tin is slightly more non-stick than stainless steel. Of course none of these foods require heat higher than the melting point of tin so using it wouldn't be a worry.

I also understand that tin can be used to brown and saute food but since I'm relatively new to using copper cookware and know that I will first have to overcome the learning curve associated with it I would feel much more comfortable using something I know will not get damaged should I mess up. Therefore I think stainless steel would be better in this instance. I've also heard stainless steel resists corrosion by acid much better than tin meaning I would have no worries deglazing my pan with red wine or vinegar to create a pan sauce.

Overall there are only two brands that have really caught my eye: Falk Culinair and Bottega Del Rame Mazzetti copper cookware. Falk mainly because of the brushed copper exterior, cast iron handles, flush rivets, stainless steel lining and price and Mazzetti because of the craftsmanship, tin lining, heirloom quality and price.

The pieces I intend to get are the following:
24cm Rondeau - for smaller batches of meatballs and curries etc...
28cm Frying pan - for searing and sautéing
24-26cm Frying pan - for pancakes, omelettes, eggs and certain fish like tilapia
18cm Saucepan - for boiling and blanching
18cm saucier - for sauces, custards, scrambled eggs and oatmeal
7-10L stockpot - for stock and large batches of stew and chilli which would otherwise be made in my Staub Dutch oven

One thing I'm a little confused about is the rolled rims on the Falk cookware. Although I think this addition is highly useful I've heard that this is primarily done to ensure the rigidity of the pots and pans and to compensate for copper that is too thin to stand on its own. This doesn't really make sense since I thought the thickness of the bimetal construction was the exact same as the ones found on other copperware brands like Mauviel. If someone could elaborate that would be great.

Please correct me on any assumptions I may have made about the two materials considered above as I know I may be slightly misinformed regarding certain things. I would also appreciate if you could recommend which materials and thicknesses would be best for the pieces I listed earlier and why that is the case as I want to make sure I'm getting the best of the best before I part with my hard earned money.

Thanks for you time (I know this was long),


Want to stay up to date with this post? Sign Up Now ›

Invite a friend to chime in on this discussion.

Email a Friend

More from Chowhound

10 Trader Joe’s Products Nutritionists Swear By (Including Snacks!)

10 Trader Joe’s Products Nutritionists Swear By (Including Snacks!)

by Anna Hecht | It’s easy to beeline right for the peanut butter cups and frozen food at Trader Joe’s (not to mention...

19 Fantastic Salts to Stock Your Pantry & Make Your Food Shine

19 Fantastic Salts to Stock Your Pantry & Make Your Food Shine

by Roxanne Webber and Jen Wheeler | Salt is a transformative ingredient (if you're in any doubt of that, see Salt Fat Acid Heat), but...

Sonoko Sakai Wants to Teach You About Real Japanese Home Cooking
Table Talk Podcast

Sonoko Sakai Wants to Teach You About Real Japanese Home Cooking

by Hana Asbrink | Welcome to Chowhound's Table Talk podcast, where Executive Editor Hana Asbrink chats with some of...

A Party-Ready Mardi Gras Menu from New Orleans Chef Donald Link
Restaurants and Bars

A Party-Ready Mardi Gras Menu from New Orleans Chef Donald Link

by Roxanne Webber | Donald Link is one of New Orleans' best chefs, known for his down-home Cajun cuisine at Cochon and...

Get fresh food news delivered to your inbox

Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest tips, tricks, recipes and more, sent twice a week.